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Bradford's big hole to be made green

The derelict building site of a £320 million shopping centre in Bradford is set to be converted into a ‘community garden’

Half of the site of developer Westfield’s huge Broadway scheme, which ground to a halt and has been left derelict for more than four years, could be levelled for public use.

Bradford Council carried out a site survey to find a list of temporary uses for the site, which is surrounded by hoardings after a series of buildings were demolished to make way for the complex. However, the project was halted by economic conditions and has left a much-criticised scar in the city centre next to Forster Square station.

Bradford Council said it was looking at changing the function of the area, but that health and safety issues could be a stumbling block.

The authority added that it could potentially be used for footpaths between the city centre and Little Germany, a wild flower meadow, a grassed area, seating, urban allotments or as an area for outdoor theatre performances.

Phil Veitch of local practice Waller & Partners said: ‘I’m sure this will only be a temporary measure since Westfield has already invested something in the order of £80 million into the site and anything less than the original intention or potential returns surely makes it a failed investment. I know the council’s view to be that the shopping centre will go ahead but the time isn’t right yet.’

He added: ‘[However] If the people of Bradford get something they are happy with in the short term then surely we need to design for the long-term now so that we integrate the temporary solution and don’t find the ‘community gardens’ bulldozed to make way for the shopping centre once it gets the go ahead. Bradford faces alienating its population in the same manner as with the Odeon building.

‘Lets think carefully about this and not get a knee jerk, unsustainable solution.’

 

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